Chrysler Design Boss: Our Cars Are Too Boxy

By Matthew Askari | May 31, 2012
Chrysler design chief Ralph Gilles says stylistic changes may be coming to future Chrysler models. The automaker is currently known for a boxier design aesthetic, but Gilles believes that's not in line with industry trends. According to a recent report in Automotive News, engineers and designers have been spending between 200-300 hours in the wind tunnel. "We'll have no choice but to be some of the most wind-swept vehicles that you've ever seen," Gilles said. It's not like Chryslers have always been blocky, of course. In fact, Chrysler could be credited with inventing the aero-look as far back as the 1930s. The current generation of the Chrysler 300 has been selling well for the automaker of late, but Gilles believes there may be a better way, noting that the Audi A7 and the newest Toyota Avalon have both managed to take a sportier design and successfully apply that to a large sedan.
But curves like seals and dolphins? Chrysler has also been looking to employ people with a background in fluid dynamics to further their understanding of the aerodynamic process. It's no secret that cars that have less resistance to air and the wind will achieve better fuel economy. Gilles says time in the wind tunnel is noticeable. "It's amazing the details, especially if you look at the back of the car. There are a lot of little flicks and bends that simulate aquatic animals almost." Source: Automotive News, Chrysler